Magacin Depo, 17th of April
Simian Mobile Disco
James and Jas of Simian Mobile Disco, though quite different in personality, are both modest fellows. In conversation each of them, more than once, puts thesuccess of SMD down to sheer luck – however, this is not really true. Yes, they were in the right place at the right time in some senses, but it takes an awful lot more than that to bring an album as sonically glorious and ambitious as Unpatterns to as broad an audienceas they are managing to reach. And as you get deeper into the details of their career to date, it becomes very clear how much tenacity, scholarship, imagination and sheer love for what they do, as well as good fortune, has got them to where they are today.
Most of all, their success has been based on learning as they go. And they’ve had plenty of things to learn from since they were thrown into the deep end of the industry when Simian, the band they formed with Simon Lord and Alex McNaughten at Manchester University, was signed to a subsidiary of a major label in 2000. It was an unlikely start, given that they were in James’s words “a kind of prog-psychedelic thing partially named after the Silver Apples’ drum synth”, or as Jas puts it “trying to show you could make band music with songs and harmonies but be into Autechretoo, just at the moment the world was into the Strokes and White Stripes and straight-ahead rock music.”